What determines changes in neural and metabolic loading/effort? Usually a change in mechanical loading. Let’s take the findings of Matt Brown from PSG Football Club in a previous post where he found an increase in electrical/neural activity of the muscle (EMG) during high speed running, by simply moving the same light weight further away from his knee on a calf sleeve (see picture).
Matt increased the mechanical overload by increasing rotational inertia (I) of the limb by simply moving the mass (m) further away from the axis of rotation (r) – I =mr2. The result of increased mechanical loading is an increase in neural (in this example) and metabolic load.
Repeated use of this type of mechanical loading whilst running, will result in neuromuscular (e.g. strength) and metabolic/cardiovascular benefits.
Understanding mechanics as a driver of other forms of adaptation is important. More to come.